Gatorade has been putting the All Blacks through their paces with sweat tests ahead of their Tokyo campaign. One of its main agendas is to educate athletes on the fuel they put in their bodies to achieve optimal performance and win from within.
In 2016, the world’s number one sports drink started a five-year partnership with one of the world’s most successful rugby teams to become the official hydration partner of the All Blacks, helping the boys to perform at their peak. The partnership also provides access to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI), the research and development arm of Gatorade.
Gatorade has a 50-year history of studying the best athletes in the world. With a commitment to science-based innovation, in the lab and on the field, no one knows fuelling needs better. Founded in 1985, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) is committed to helping athletes optimise their health and performance through research and education in hydration and nutrition science. GSSI scientists study the effects of nutrition on the human body before, during and after exercise.
The Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) Sweat Test is a two-part physical assessment based on athletes’ fluid balance and sweat sodium. Athletes lose water and electrolytes as a consequence of thermoregulatory sweating during training and competition.
In some situations, dehydration can be enough to cause excessive water or electrolyte imbalances and impair performance, so sweat tests can help identify individual fluid and electrolyte needs and improve hydration strategies.
For the boys in black, “the main thing we’re looking at is sodium loss over a period of time, so we’ll be looking at how we can help players replace what they’ve used while they’ve been playing, and as a result in recovery as well,” says Katrina Darry, All Blacks Dietitian.
It is well established that dehydration rates and electrolyte concentrations can vary widely among individuals. Therefore, it is recommended that fluid replacement strategies are personalised to the individual as well as tailored to the specific conditions of training/competition.
“Everyone is going to sweat differently. Some people are going to run hotter than others, body weight and fitness level can factor into that, how much lean muscle mass, all these things can change the way everyone sweats and what rate they sweat. So everyone (including the All Blacks) is on an individualised plan that helps them feel at their best for game day,” says Logan Posthumus, GSSI Advisor.
Having access to the science and knowledge provided by GSSI continues to help the players be at their peak performance on the world stage. Gatorade contains fluids and electrolytes to help replace what is lost in sweat, rehydrating and replenishing athletes after performance.
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Credit: Marco Iacobucci, Paolo Bona, Roger Sedres / Getty Images
Citations: Gatorade Sports Science Institute